THE first thing that strikes you about Paul Murphy’s new solo album The Glen is that voice - rough, compelling, and sounding like it has lived a thousand lives.
It’s a voice you’d follow into the middle of a storm.
If you are wondering yes it is that Paul Murphy, of folk misfits The Destroyers, only here he is on much tender and emotive ground.
All the songs on The Glen, a sort of concept album in a way, are love songs and have the recurring theme about finding love and losing love. The majority of the 10 tracks leaning toward losing.
Something that shouldn’t come as a shock when you find out the album is dedicated to Paul’s late wife.
As well as the voice, the album shows that he can be thought-provoking and affecting when he wants to be, something a million miles away from his role as ring leader of the rabble in The Destroyers.
It also proves he is at his absolute best in classic story teller mode.
The songs that hit home, that make you really stop and think, are the ones featuring the classic tale of boy finds girl, falls in love and ultimately loses girl, such as opening track and heavyhearted number Glen.
Other stand out tracks include Hades with its intricate guitar play, Grief and album closer Shadowlands.
The album, described by the man himself as an extended love letter and now on to its second edition, is far from your polished pop perfection but it wears its scratches and scars with a very real pride.
Something which in the end makes you like it and accept it for what it essentially is even more.
And even after it comes to an end you’ll still hear that voice, that voice which has for the last 30 odd minutes become a kind of companion, telling you through touching lyrics that in the end everything will probably be alright.
Not for certain because life can be very cruel and not everything goes to plan, but that you’ll get through.